France will host a video conference with international partners on December 2nd to discuss humanitarian aid and solutions for crisis-ridden Lebanon, according to Reuters.
In collaboration with the United Nations, the meeting will aim to have the highest-level representation possible with the objective of soliciting aid for Lebanon’s struggling economy.
French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to push ahead with efforts to prevent Lebanon from collapsing after the massive explosion in Beirut’s port in August destroyed large areas of the city and compounded the country’s political and financial crisis.
However, a French initiative to stabilise Lebanon and enable the release of billions of dollars of international aid to fix the economy is yet to see the light of day.
The source states that given the worsening economic situation and the COVID-19 pandemic, France decided to go ahead and implement the humanitarian conference.
Conference details will be finalized by early next week, but it aims to include in a short amount of time as many senior government officials as possible.
Earlier in the day, Macron urged Lebanon’s political elite to call on all authorities to put aside their sectarian interests and form a government for the sake of the country and its people.
“It is your duty as head of state to respond to the demands of the people,” Macron said in a congratulatory message to President Michel Aoun on the occasion of Lebanon’s 77th Independence Day.
Macron made sure that Lebanese citizens are well aware of France’s continued support to Lebanon, saying: “You can be assured that France stands today, as at all times, with Lebanon and the Lebanese people.”
Following the widely devastating Beirut Port explosion, Lebanon’s political elite agreed to implement a road map proposed by France to avert the country’s total collapse.
Under the French initiative presented by Macron to Lebanon’s political officials, the new government would carry out reforms and take measures to battle against endemic corruption, curb waste of public funds, and save the country’s ailing economy.
However, Lebanon has been left without a fully functioning government since caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab submitted his Cabinet’s resignation on August 10th, and current efforts to form a government haven’t yielded any result as of yet.